Basic history facts:
1579, Sir Francis Drake landed a few miles north of the
Golden Gate, but apparently the fog shrouded the area to
the south, preventing him from discovering the Bay or claiming
the surrounding territory.
About 200 years later, Don Juan Manuel Ayala established
a mission and a town in San Francisco.
Even by 1846, San Francisco remained a small town,
with only about 800 inhabitants. The number one occupation
at that time was raising livestock. It was not until 1849,
a year after gold was discovered at Sutter's mill, that
the town boomed, as 40,000 gold prospectors flooded the
area. The gold rush peaked in 1852.
In 1906, the San Francisco earthquake and fire occurs,
killing 452 people and destroying 28,000 buildings.
In 1920, the first transcontinental airmail route
is established between New York City and San Francisco.
In 1969, 78 Native Americans seize Alcatraz Island,
demanding it be made into a cultural center; 19 months later
On October 17, 1989, San Francisco suffered the Loma
Prieta earthquake, the second most powerful in U.S. history,
measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale, which killed 67 people,
left 48,000 people homeless, and resulted in $10 billion
of property damage.
San Francisco is famous
for its hills and the streets which run straight up and
down them. Three of San Francisco's notable hills are Nob
Hill, Russian Hill, and Telegraph Hill, all of which located
in or near the downtown area. Not to be missed are the beautiful
homes and area of the city known as Pacific Heights. San
Francisco is also famous for its cable cars (narrow gauge,
1067 mm (3'6")), which were designed to carry residents
up those steep hills. It is still possible to take a cable
car ride up and down Nob and Russian Hills. San Francisco's
cable cars are the only mobile United States National Monument.
Coit Tower, a notable landmark dedicated to San Francisco's
firefighters, is located at the top of Telegraph Hill.
San Francisco Museum
of Modern Art
The San Francisco Museum of Art began in 1935, and was the
first Museum of its kind, on the West Coast, to strictly
showcase art from the twentieth century. The name was changed
to the Museum of Modern Art in 1975 to reflect it current
ideals, of only displaying the finest in the "Modern"
style. The Museum grew, and eventually opened the doors
to its glorious modern brick facility in January 1995. The
SFMOMA building was designed by renowned Swiss architect
Mario Botta and heralded and a combination of color, form
San Francisco Symphony
San Francisco is a city that loves music. The dust of the
1906 earthquake had hardly cleared before a group of civic
leaders had laid the groundwork for a new orchestra. Five
years later, the San Francisco Symphony was born. Since
those first concerts in 1911, the SFS has played a defining
role in American cultural life. Today, it's defining what
the orchestra of the 21st century will be.
San Francisco Chamber
The mission of the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra is to
bring the immediacy and intimacy of music for small orchestra
and chamber ensemble to audiences of all ages by presenting
classical, contemporary, and commissioned works as well
as to educate and enlighten the next generation of music
lovers through outreach programs.